Exploring Russian-speaking identity from below: the case of Latvia

Cheskin, A. (2013) Exploring Russian-speaking identity from below: the case of Latvia. Journal of Baltic Studies, 44(3), pp. 287-312. (doi:10.1080/01629778.2012.712335)

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Abstract

Recent research on the acculturation strategies of Russian speakers in Latvia has demonstrated that there is a high level of support for integration (identifying with both Latvian and Russian cultures) compared to marginalization, separation, or assimilation. However, a number of researchers have also highlighted the negative impact of top-down narratives and discourses produced by the country's politicians and journalists. These discourses, it is argued, hamper the integration process by creating incompatible identity positions between ‘Russian-speakers’ and ‘Latvians’. Accordingly, this research turns to focus group interviews with Russian speakers in Latvia in order to uncover the nuances of their identity-forming processes, their relations with the respective Russian and Latvian states, and their acculturation strategies, which are commonly overlooked in top-down accounts. Based on the analysis of the qualitative data it will be argued that there is great potential for an integrated, yet culturally distinct Latvian-Russian identity in Latvia.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cheskin, Dr Ammon
Authors: Cheskin, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Central and East European Studies
Journal Name:Journal of Baltic Studies
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN:0162-9778
ISSN (Online):1751-7877
Published Online:02 October 2012
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2012 Journal of Baltic Studies
First Published:First published in Journal of Baltic Studies
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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